Rosetti’s “Goblin Market” has been viewed as a commentary of the effects of colonialism on women. From this perspective, commerce—the buying and selling of goods—defines the value of women (and men) in society. To better understand this poem, your task is twofold: First, select either the goblins or the fruit and discuss what they represent from the perspective of colonialism and commerce. Then, based on your assessment of the goblins or the fruit, what is the effect of colonialism on women?  

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In answering a question such as this, we probably should try to avoid being too specific about what the allegorical elements in Rossetti's poem actually stand for. That said, the goblins do appear to represent purveyors of some kind of evil—an ill-gotten benefit, pleasure, or type of wealth, perhaps. In this case, given what you have specified in your question, they would be tantamount to those governments or economic interests that promote colonialism as a means of self-enrichment. The two women, Laura and Lizzie, could conceivably be either the exploited population or the unknowing people of...

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